Officer couldn’t find file on priest being investigated

An officer of the DPP has told the trial of a detective charged with forging a DPP letter that there was no file for a priest the detective was investigating for child abuse.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan, aged 48, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009, at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda Station and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011. The instrument is alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP, dated January 14, 2009.

Henry Matthews,of the DPP’s office, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court his job was to assess Garda investigation files.

He told Alex Owens, prosecuting, that in 2011 he was asked to check his office filing systems for a file on a priest who Garda McGowan was investigating from 2007.

Mr Matthews said that in July 2011, he was unable to find a case file for a suspect with the same name as the priest for a charge of sexual offence.

The trial continues.


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